Phyto-Chemical Screening and Ethno-Botanical Properties of Selected Plants of the
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Adejuwon AO*1 and Tsygankova VA2
1School of Health Information Management, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
2Department for Chemistry of Bioactive Nitrogen Containing Heterocyclic Compounds, Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and Petrochemistry of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ukraine
Submission: April 01, 2019; Published: April 23, 2019
*Corresponding author: Adekunle Odunayo Adejuwon, School of Health Information Management, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
How to cite this article: Adejuwon AO, Tsygankova VA. Phyto-Chemical Screening and Ethno-Botanical Properties of Selected Plants of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. J Complement Med Alt Healthcare. 2019; 9(3): 555761. DOI:10.19080/JCMAH.2019.09.555761
Aim: Reported cases of arthritis and typhoid fever have been on the increase in Nigeria, West Africa. This has led us into the ethno-botanical and phyto-chemical studies of some plants used in the treatment of these diseases in Nigerian traditional practice.
Materials and Methods: Twenty plants were screened for the phytochemical compounds tannins, saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids and carotenoids using standard biochemical methods. The habits of the test plants were 90% trees, 50% herbs, 40% shrubs and 20% climbers. The plant parts used were 100% leaves.
Results: All the tested plants contained high levels of varied concentrations of saponins, alkaloids and flavonoids compared to their levels of tannins and carotenoids.
Conclusion: Further studies on these secondary metabolites should shed more light into the Nigerian trado-medical claim of these plant parts. This study will be of significance and value in therapeutics and drug development.
Plants have been indispensable sources of both preventive and curative medical preparations in centuries [1,2]. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), estimates of up 80% of the world’s population, mostly in the developing countries have adapted trado-medicinal curative practices in health needs . With a value in therapeutics, plant part preparations are used in China, France and Germany as herbal remedies with less stringent side effects as assumed in the medical world . Plants have been recorded as containing phtochemicals which act as antioxidants, interfere with hormonal actions, stimulate body enzymes, interfere with DNA replication, inhibit bacterial function (bacteriocidal or bacteriostatic) . In the present investigation, certain plants in Nigeria, West Africa used in trado-medical treatment of typhoid fever and arthritis were screened for phyto-chemical properties with a view to justifying their application in Nigerian traditional curatives and the possibility of the development of drugs of herbal sources for human health.
Plants used in traditional practice for the treatment of arthri
tis and typhoid fever: Morinda lucida, Cymbopogon citratues, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus paradisi, Blighia Sapida were obtained along the Polytechnic Road, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. Spondias mombin, Azadirachta indica, Khaya grandfoliola, Momordica charantia and Alstonia boonei were gotten from the Department of Forest Resource Management, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Musa paradisiaca, Phyllantus amarus, Carica papaya, Psidium guajava, Solenostemon monostachyus, Terminalia catappa, Ocimum gratissimum, Boerhavia diffusa, Parquetina nigrescens were collected within the premises of Mozambique Hall, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
The qualitative and quantitative screening of powdered plant
samples were carried out at Kappa Biotechnology Laboratories
(Research Support R & D Analytical Services), Trans Amusement
Park, Old Airport Road, Bodija, Ibadan, Nigeria using standard
The profile of plants in this investigation revealed that the
samples were from the families Euphorbiaceae, Laminaceae, Nictaginaceae,
Asclepiadaceae, Caricaceae, Anacardiaceae, Rubiaceae,
Maliaceae, Apocynaceae, Sapindaceae, Myrtaceae, Combretaceae,
Rutaceae, Poaceae, Musaceae, Cucurbitaceae. The test plants were
90% trees, 50% shrubs, 40% herbs, 20% climbers having leaves
as the only used plant part in the study (Table 1 & 2). Among the
plants used for the treatment of arthritis and typhoid fever, Carica
papaya appeared for both treatments. From the results of Table
3, there seems to be an order, very high amount of alkaloids and
flavonoids, moderate amount of saponins but little amount of tannins
and carotenoids in the tested plant extracts. The qualitative
analysis was derived from the quantitative analysis and rated according
to the highest and lowest figures present in the column
Table 4. As observed in Table 5, the amount of saponins, alkaloids
and flavonoids in the tested plant extracts were high contrary to
their very low amounts of tannins and carotenoids. These tested
plants used in the treatment of typhoid fever seem to contain relatively
high amounts of saponins, alkaloids and flavonoids. Table 6
represents the qualitative phyto-chemical analyses of some plant
extracts used in the treatment of typhoid fever in the African-Nigerian
locality. Saponin is absent in Citrus sinensis as the only absence
recorded in all the samples tested.
Plant screened contained phytochemical compounds in varied
concentration. Most of the tested samples contained high amounts
of saponin, alkaloids and flavonoids but moderate amounts of tannins
and carotenoids. Researches have shown that over 90% of
most isolated chemical constituents of plants are alkaloids .
Alstonia boonei have been used topically to reduce swellings and
in treating rheumatic fever, muscular pain and hypertension .
In other findings, the anti-inflammatory properties of the alcohol
extract of Alstonia boonei have been applied in herbal treatment
of muscular pain and rheumatic fever . Carica papaya occurrence
in the two-treatment list for arthritis and typhoid diseases
is suggestive of its versatility. Ming et al.  stated that pawpaw
is an exceptionally promising system for the exploration of tropical-
tree genomes and fruit-tree genomics. He reported further in
the draft genome sequence of ‘SunUp’ papaya, as the first commercial
virus-resistant transgenic fruit tree to be sequenced. In this
investigation, carotenoids seem low in Azadiractha in dica. This
finding tally with those described by Evans and Trease  and
by Unnikannan et al.  who studied the effects of chromium on
certain tree species. These secondary metabolites observed in A.
indica could be responsible for its antimicrobial activities on S. aureus,
E. coli and S. typhi characterizing the specific active constituent
responsible for its therapeutic value. Alkaloids are known for
their anti-inflammatory effects. Flavonoids which are naturally occurring
phenolic compounds with anti-oxidative properties have
earlier been described in Carica papaya and Parquetina nigrescens
Phytochemicals exert antimicrobial activities through different
mechanisms. For instance, tannins act by iron deprivation, hydrogen
binding or specific interactions with vital proteins such as
enzymes found in microbial cells [15,16]. Tannins have also been
reported to induce anti-plasmodial activities [17,18]. Akinjogunla
et al.  reported the efficacy of extracts of Ocimum gratissimum
on Escherichia coli. Terminalia catappa had been earlier been observed
to contain high amount of saponins in comparison with
all other secondary metabolites. Saponins are major natural anti-
oxidants with anti-carcinogenic properties. They have reducing
power capabilities and are recognized as inhibitors of peroxidation
. Conclusively, the phytochemical compounds found in
these plant samples may play significant roles in the treatment of
arthritis and typhoid fever evidenced from existing literature and
findings on these compounds. Their extraction and purification
should be of value to drug development and therapeutics.